Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music from Rumba to Reggae / Edition 2

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Music is the most popular and dynamic aspect of Caribbean expressive culture. From the well-known genres-salsa, merengue, reggae, calypso, and bachata-to more localized forms like chutney and kaseko, this wide-ranging book surveys Caribbean music's prodigious diversity and colorful history.

Enhanced with numerous illustrations and musical examples, Caribbean Currents is an up-to-date overview of the region's music, covering Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad, Suriname, and smaller islands like Martinique and Guadeloupe. Engaging descriptions of musical forms and innovations, festivals and dance halls, as well as musicians and fans, are situated in the context of the modern genres' relationship to issues of race, regional diversity, gender, and socio-political conflicts.

This revised and expanded version features:

Twenty-seven new illustrations

Recent developments in the region's music, such as the emergence of reggaetón and timba

A new and extensive study of Jamaican dancehall

"A guide to the cultural festivals, traditional culture, musical forms, dances, instruments, music education, government institutions concerned with music, and copyright mechanisms in Belize, the Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua and Barbado, Montserrat, Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, and Guyana"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an exciting text that offers an excellent survey of the popular musical styles of the Caribbean.... The authors assert that Caribbean music has something to offer everyone, and this text is intended to cater for a very broad audience ranging from Caribbean music lovers, to students of Caribbean and/or pan-American society, to readers of Caribbean descent who wish to learn more about their unique and dynamic music-culture."
—The World of Music

"Manuel presents a good overview of the array of Caribbean musical styles and their place in 'world cultural history.' Students and general readers will find this book appealing, and the inclusion of bibliographies, discographies, and a glossary enhance its educational value."
—The Journal of American Folklore

Aaron Cohen
Since the Caribbean's multifaceted music is usually heard in the U.S. only in such popular forms as reggae and salsa, Manuel and company's diligent scholarship is much needed. They provide thoughtful descriptions of such overlooked styles as the "bachata" of the Dominican Republic and the voudou-jazz of Haiti, as well as of the forms of more musically famous islands, such as Jamaica and Trinidad. They discuss such insular cultural manifestations as the salsa vs. merengue conflict in New York City and the Hindu devotional songs of Trinidad's Indian community. They describe their travels in several rather inaccessible countries, particularly Cuba. They cogently argue how the Caribbean's historical, political, and social developments shaped its musics. The musical analyses and notation they provide are straightforward enough to interest careful listeners as well as casual fans, and the many helpful discographies throughout the book--not to mention the cool photographs!--contribute to making this an essential text on some of the world's most irrepressible rhythms.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592134625
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Edition description: 2
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Largey is Professor of Music at Michigan State University. He is an ethnomusicologist and folklorist specializing in the music and culture of Haiti.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction : the Caribbean crucible 1
2 Cuba 19
3 Puerto Rico 65
4 Salsa and beyond 88
5 The Dominican Republic 116
6 Haiti and the French Caribbean 141
7 Jamaica 177
8 Trinidad, calypso, and Carnival 216
9 East Indian music and big sounds from the "small islands" 249
10 Five themes in the study of Caribbean music 271
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